Sotheby’s said the 70cl bottle of 1762 Gautier Cognac was ‘the oldest Cognac vintage ever sold at auction.’
The winning bid from a collector in Asia was £118,580 ($144,525), following an online-only sale lasting several days and finishing today (28 May). Sotheby’s said the result was ‘a new auction record for a bottle of Cognac’.
Bidders drove up the price in the final hour or so – a common facet of online-only wine auctions – but the pre-sale high estimate had been £160,000.
Still, the result once again underlines how rare spirits have become a sought-after possession for more collectors in recent years.
Few would match the heritage of the 1762 Gautier, however, which has survived more than 250 years of history, including the turbulence of the French Revolution.
‘The year 1762 is notable for a number of historic events, not least Britain entering the Seven Years’ War against Spain and Naples, Catherine II becoming empress of Russia, and the first St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City,’ said Sotheby’s.
The Cognac was believed to have been bottled in the 1840s.
Nicknamed ‘grand frère’, it is the largest bottling of a trio, said Sotheby’s.
The smallest, known as ‘Petite Soeur’, is on display at Maison Gautier in Cognac, while the other – nicknamed ‘Petit Frère’ – was sold at auction in New York in 2014 for £48,000, the auction house said prior to its online sale.
The family who previously owned all three of the Cognacs wished to remain anonymous, it added.
The winning bidder will also get a bespoke trip to Maison Gautier, courtesy of the distillery.